Eugene Cho

$700,000 in debt and never been so excited to hear from the IRS

eugene matrix

Last week, I shared a post about fear entitled, Do Not Be Afraid: Dream, Pursue, & Jump.  And one of my readers, Matt S., doctored one of my photos to give me Neo-like skills.

For the past year, my biggest fear has been this burden and conviction that I feel God has placed upon my soul to engage the fight against extreme global poverty through the birth of a new organization.

I have been kicking myself for going public with the vision about a year ago. There’s been hiccups, setbacks, criticisms, and plenty of self doubt but after a year since sharing our vision and starting a group on FacebookI’ll finally be sharing the name of our organization, current logo, and our vision and fundraising letter this Friday.

As usual, I’m both excited and scared and covet your prayers.

I came home yesterday having doubts if I was ready to share the vision but lo and behold, I received my confirmation in the mail.  We finally received our 501(c)(3) issuance from the Internal Revenue Services:

We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to you are deductible…

Cool timing. [My wife’s response after learning we got the green light from the IRS: “Now, you can finally cut your hair!”]

I want to publicly thank our organization’s lawyer, Nat Taylor, from Ellis, Li & McKinstry.  He is a fabulous non-profit lawyer and if you’re looking for someone to help with your organization, I highly recommend him.  It’s a worthwhile financial investment – which I should have taken from the beginning.

In addition, our poverty Facebook group has now surpassed 700,000 people. Truthfully, I’ve never been so excited to be $700,000 in debt but if our vision catches on, we’re excited to be able to invest those funds and more in people and organizations who are doing some amazing work.

If you haven’t done so, subscribe to the blog RSS feed or check back on Friday to learn more about our vision and how we intend to do our part to fight extreme global poverty. Even if you don’t have any interest in making a donation to help make some initial investments in our organization, I’d love for you to read what we’re trying to do.

And now, the real hard labor begins…

Filed under: seattle, , ,

32 Responses

  1. djterasaki says:

    congratulations PE! very good news!

  2. Andrea says:

    This is wonderful news!!

  3. gracex2 says:

    wonderful wonderful news, pastor Eugene! God bless you and Minhee for your faithfulness and obedience. This is very exciting news!

  4. teresa says:

    Too cool! I know you’re gonna make a difference!

  5. gar says:

    congrats! what a blessing.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Yay! Congratulations! Our God is so faithful.

    And yes, finally you can cut your hair! We are all with Minhee on that one!

  7. minna says:

    yoopee!!!!
    sooooo excited for the next step in this journey of yours! and i say …. keep the hair. it ain’t so bad!

  8. jHong says:

    me and samohnim are on the same page! that was my first thought too!!! can i be the one to schedule an appointment? or should i just bring some shears and clippers into the office today???😉

  9. Daniel Azuma says:

    Congratulations Pastor E! Wonderful news!

  10. la v says:

    congrats p.e.!! praise God!

  11. amen! that’s great man; way to persevere. “God is not done with us” is what one friend recently said😉 sounds like your own words are a fitting encouragement for your endeavor.

    and let me know if I can help in any way.

  12. eunice =) says:

    this requires a..

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

  13. Jenny says:

    Eugene, this is such fantastic news! God’s timing is perfect! God bless you!

  14. Bo says:

    Congratulations! Way to persevere.

    I’m pretty good at cutting AZ’s hair. I just stick a no. 2 on the buzzer and just go at it. I’d be happy to do yours for free. I could even get you back to your wedding look!

  15. Maxine says:

    Congratulations Eugene~! When we follow what the Lord puts on our hearts, how can we fail? Inspires me to pursue what the Lord is burdening my heart with…

  16. Darwin says:

    Rock On. Now the party can really get started🙂

  17. Pam says:

    Congratulations PE and Minhee! Can’t wait to see the haircut🙂

  18. eugenecho says:

    @everyone:

    minhee didn’t read the fine print. i said i’d cut the hair once we “officially launched” the org.🙂

  19. leochen says:

    re: the haircut. I can refer you to a good barber… me! and I know only one style…

  20. eugene- supporting that massive bush of hair in back must be making your neck muscles stronger. seems like a backwards way to go about strength training, but I do appreciate your creativity.

  21. That is great news! It’s so great to know everything is official. I am really looking forward to being a part of this movement and following along on this journey…

  22. daniel so says:

    Eugene – Congrats! What a journey it’s already been. Can’t wait to see the impact you’ll make.

    For the record, I’m putting my vote in for a man-perm. With the length of your hair, it’ll be a pretty massive blowout🙂

  23. johnlunt says:

    Congratulations. I’m following on facebook. I look forward to more on this. I’ve worked with the homeless and others. I think an initiative like this takes a lot of faith and I’m sure God will honor it.

    http://www.squidoo.com/gospelpoverty

  24. Mario says:

    Congratulations.

  25. Tyler says:

    looking forward to friday.

  26. Liz VerHage says:

    congrats Eugene! I am excited to see where it heads and totally get the balancing act that faith, fear, and following the pursuit of justice into the dark sometimes requires. I am praying for your work!🙂

  27. Joseph Lee says:

    well looks like its time get some work done eh?

  28. The Chiz says:

    Let’s make Poverty AND Mr. Smith History!

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One Day’s Wages

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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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